The Real Meaning of Thanksgiving

Weโ€™re officially in the thick of November. How? Iโ€™m not sure. This year seems to be flying by. I guess thatโ€™s what happens when youโ€™re a full-time working mom and wife ๐Ÿ™ƒ Anyway, as I look forward to the day we have to set aside thanks, Iโ€™m also struggling with how easy it is to get wrapped up in Thanksgiving that we sometimes forget the actual reason for it.

I mean surely, Iโ€™m not the only one whoโ€™s ever spent too much time on Thanksgiving planning out a Black Friday shopping list? Sometimes we canโ€™t stop thinking about what we need or want long enough to give thanks for what we already have.

But does that even matter?

Why is Thanksgiving Important?

Thanksgiving is more than just one day in November we set aside for turkey and cranberry sauce. Itโ€™s more than a gathering of family members and/or friends. And itโ€™s so much more than an opportunity to buy discount electronics and clothes.

Thanksgiving is a way of life.

Or at least it should be.

Because does it really matter if youโ€™re thankful on the 4th Thursday of November, if youโ€™re not thankful on the other 364 days of the year? We were never commanded to give thanks, eat turkey, then go on our way and ignore the goodness of God.

Giving Thanks is Godโ€™s will for you

โ€œRejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is Godโ€™s will for you in Christ Jesus.โ€  1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Let that sink into your soul. Godโ€™s will for you is to give thanks in all circumstances. Not just on Thanksgiving, but every day and in every circumstance! 

โ€œSing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.โ€ Ephesians 5:19-20

One way weโ€™re told to give thanks is through praise. In fact, in Psalm 100, weโ€™re told to enter the gates of the Lord with Thanksgiving… itโ€™s the way weโ€™re supposed to come to Him. Not just with gratitude for what Heโ€™s done, but for who He is

Thatโ€™s why 1 Chronicles 16:4 says, โ€œGive thanks to the Lord for he is good, his love endures forever.โ€ We always have a reason to be thankful because He is always good.

The promise of Philippians 4:6-7 says, โ€œDo not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.โ€ Gratitude helps us focus our hearts on Him, and He is always enough.

This week, I encourage you to stop and give thanks.  Not just because thereโ€™s a holiday coming, but because God is good.  All the time.


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